Tick exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active during the warmer months (April-September). It’s important to know which ticks are most common in your area. Here are some tips to help prevent tick bites.
What to know before you go outdoors?
- Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside, walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you into close contact with ticks.
- Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing, and camping gear and remain protective through several washings.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-methane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
- Avoid Contact with Ticks
- Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
- Walk in the center of the trails.
What do to after you come indoors?
- Check your clothing for ticks. Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors.
- Examine gear and pets. Ticks can enter the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and daypacks.
- Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tick-borne diseases as well. Showering can help wash off unattached ticks, and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.
- Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full-body check upon your return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around the hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
For more information visit: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html